Fed up with taking meds or going for painful shots? —There is an alternative.
Many people here in Ottawa have seasonal type allergies. For some it’s the birch, dandelion, or grass pollen in the spring, for others the ragweed in the fall, and for some unlucky people it’s all year round as they also react to moulds, dust, household chemicals, pets or other environmental allergens.
We all know that these allergens can cause sneezes, runny nose, itchy throat, eyes and ears; but did you know they can also be a factor in heartburn, diarrhea, skin rashes, anxiety and fatigue, body pain and other symptoms?
Allergic reactions occur when the immune system overreacts to any typically-harmless trigger, such as pollen. This allergen is mistaken as a threat, and the body releases a chemical called histamine, which is meant to protect you, and which produces your symptoms.
There are a number of factors that can aggravate your reactions to allergens.
1. Foods that contain histamine including pickled or yeast-containing foods, e.g cheese, bread, alcoholic drinks like cider, beer and wine (red is worse than white)
2. Gluten, the protein in wheat and some other grains, can produce inflammation in the body and aggravate the reaction you have to allergens.
3. Cigarettes and cigars are a known trigger for people with sensitive sinuses or respiratory issues.
4. Stress causes your body to release hormones and other chemicals, including histamine, the cause of allergic reactions. It also lowers the immune system.
5. Chlorine and bromine in swimming pools and hot tubs is highly irritant to mucous membranes found in your lungs and nose, aggravating existing allergies.
So what to do about it?
1. Avoid the allergen. This does rather depend on what you’re allergic to. It is not realistic to expect to completely eliminate many allergens such as mould, pollen, dust and dust mites. You can, however, reduce exposure.
2. Avoid the aggravating factors listed above.
3. Increase the amount of beneficial foods that you eat.
• Omega 3, found in fish, flax hemp and chia seeds – reduces the risk of developing allergies and is anti- inflammatory helping to reduce reactions.
• Antioxidants found in fresh fruits, onions and tomatoes.
4.Use hot drinks, steam from hot water or saline rinses (Neti Pot) to release congestion and flush out allergens.
Medication: Over the counter and prescription pills, nasal sprays and eye drops can bring temporary relief. They do not, however, resolve the issue and can cause many side effects such as drowsiness, palpitations and anxiety.
Allergy shots: (allergy immuno- therapy) is a form of long-term treatment that decreases symptoms. A tiny amount of the allergen is injected to produce a low-grade reaction. Over time, the amount of the allergen is increased which allows the body to become somewhat desensitised to the allergens. This process can take 5 years or more and is painful. Many people report improvement but not total relief from symptoms.
Alternative Therapies: many of these can be used to relieve or even completely resolve symptoms:
• Chiropractic and Osteopathy – realigning your spine and other joints allows the body to function correctly and boosts the immune system.
• Acupuncture – rebalances the body, soothing the areas of the body that are over stimulated.
• Massage Therapy – strengthens the immune system, releases stress and therefore relieves symptoms.
•Hypnosis – has been found to reduce or even eliminate allergies, although we do not know why.
• Natural Allergy Therapy using acupressure to rebalance the body in the presence of allergens has been found to effectively remove allergies.
• Natural Nutrition – eating an organic, whole food diet specifically tailored to your personal needs will provide the essential nutrition for your immune system to function correctly.
Ottawa Holistic Wellness Centre offers many of these altnernative therapies under one roof. There is a solution for you.